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Date: Wed 8 Mar 2006

Scottish Enterprise jettisons Careers Vacancy Handling Service

Careers Officers within the Scottish Enterprise Careers Scotland Business unit have reacted angrily to news that Careers Scotland will no longer be accepting and administering vacancies for jobs, employed status Skillseekers and modern apprenticeships programmes after 1 April 2006.

Peter Veldon, Regional Officer for UNISONScotland, which represents 80% of the 1100 Careers Scotland staff said "Careers Scotland have an integral part to play in the Scottish Executive's strategy of reducing the number of young people considered Not Engaged in Employment and Training ( the NEET group ).

"94% of our members who participated in a consultative survey on this matter think this is part of our service and should be retained. Our members are angry over the way this whole matter has been handled and that their views have been ignored. Scottish Enterprise engaged a consultant to look at this matter at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds to the taxpayer. UNISON were refused access to the consultant to discuss possible options and have yet to be told which employers and clients of the service were actually contacted before coming to a final decision.

Following recent staff briefings on this matter, members are concerned that Scottish Enterprise are claiming that this decision will actually benefit the unemployed. Members have a vast experience of dealing with this client group and realise that the main reason they access Careers Scotland services is because they are looking for a variety of post school opportunities and real jobs.

More worringly officers are concerned about the damage to the credibility of Careers Scotland caused by this decision. Currently viewed by young people, schools and local authorities as experts in the field of advising and supporting young people in their pursuit of post school opportunities.

Peter added "UNISON will be contacting the Scottish Executive regarding this matter in the hope that they will encourage Scottish Enterprise to reverse this decision. With the agency currently under the media spotlight for budgetary concerns and its restructuring our members are concerned that this change is being slipped through in the hope that it will not be picked up by the media and politicians.

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact: James Corry (Branch Secretary) Tel: 0778 5517204(m) Peter Veldon (Regional Organiser) 07904342285(m) Chris Bartter(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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